It's all too rare in this sport that we get unification bouts. We as fans, as much as anything else, love them when they come around and wish we'd have more of them.
Less than a week ago it looked nailed on that we would have a unified Super Flyweight champion. The WBA and IBF titles were bound together with Liborio Solis (16-3-1, 7) set to face Daiki Kameda (29-4, 18).
There was just one problem, weight. On Monday Solis, failed to make the Super Flyweight limit. In fact he was closer to the Bantamweight limit than the Super Flyweight limit. This saw Solis stripped of the WBA title and unableto win the IBF belt. Daiki however was eligible still to win the WBA title and unify it with his IBF belt.
Unfortunately for Daiki the weight difference on the scales had multiplied by the time the two men had gotten in to the ring. Daiki, although above the Super Flyweight limit in the ring was physically smaller than Solis who was said to have been around the Lightweight limit.
Sadly for Daiki the weight difference came in to play early on.
The fight began as a phone booth war, a real tear up with both men unloading on each other in the first 3 rounds. There was more action in these 3 rounds than many 12 rounders have combined as both men decided to go to war with each other.
By round 4 the size disadvantage was taking it's toll on Daiki. The Japanese fighter couldn't hurt Solis who took every shot and came back with his own heavier shots. This saw Daiki changing his game plan and trying to box with Solis rather than going to war with him.
Trying to box with Solis didn't really help Daiki who was walked down, hurt and forced to clinch. By now it was clear that Daiki was going to need to move to a third game plan. This involved lots of shoe shining at Solis's body. No shot was going to hurt the Venezuelan but they could catch the judges eye and help Daiki claim the rounds.
By round 9 it seemed like Daiki had the toughness to take the best of Solis shots. He didn't have the fire power to force Solis into thinking twice about letting his hands go however he did have the work rate to make things interesting and the heart to keep going.
It was the heart and toughness of Daiki that was outstanding and in the final 3 rounds he upped his work, his effort and his energy as he tried to close the show and take the championship rounds. Whilst no one would have begrudged him those later rounds it was simply too little too late, he was in a hole and there was no real escape on the cards.
To us it seemed Solis was a clear winner. The cards would have been close, of course they would, Daiki may well have taken 2 of the first 4 and possibly the last 3, but that was about as good as it got for him. He was battered in the middle portion of the bout and rounds 4-9 were clearly Solis's with the Venezuelan having a very good shout to have won the first 3 as well. At best for Daiki we had it a 115-113 loss, at worst it it 117-111 to Solis.
As per usual however the judges saw things very differently to us. They had it, rather remarkably, a split decision. We believe the cards were read out as 115-113, 112-116 and 116-112, though there was confusion with the announcements.
Oddly the reactions of the two fighters were very odd. Solis celebrated as if he had won the lottery or been told he was crowned master of the universe when in fact he had effectively won a fight for naught, he wasn't going to be reinstated by the WBA nor was he to claim the IBF title. Daiki on the other hand looked solemn despite technically retaining his title on a loss.
Interestingly this result has actually set up some very interesting looking possibilities for 2014.
We are likely to see Daiki fighting against Zolani Tete in a defense of the IBF title, that appears to be almost set in stone with Tete claiming a mandatory position this past weekend.
With Solis beating Daiki but unable to make the Super Flyweight limit we'd not be shocked if 2014 brought us a bout between Tomoki Kameda, who retained his WBO Bantamweight belt on this same show, and Solis. It's a bout that allows the Kameda's to gain some form of revenge over Solis and allows Solis a chance to return to Japan for another world title and another decent payday.
The fact the WBA Super Flyweight title is now vacant could also see Koki Kameda aborting plans to fight Anselmo Moreno in a Bantamweight title fight and instead dropping to Super Flyweight. If Koki does that he could potentially be Japan's first ever 4 weight world champion.
One thing is for sure, there was probably more "good" from Solis failing to make weight than their was bad. Sure we failed to have a unified champion but on the other hand we have seemingly gotten a very, very interesting situation.
It's not often that brothers hold world titles in boxing and although it does happen it's really a bit of a rarity for 2 to hold them at the same time. Earlier today however the Kameda family created history and finished what has been dubbed "The Summer of Kameda" with a trio of world title holders.
"The Summer of Kameda" kicked off a few weeks ago with Koki, the eldest of the three boxing brothers, defending his WBA Bantamweight title against John Mark Apolinario of the Philippines. Just weeks later the youngster brother, Tomoki, claimed the WBO Bantamweight title defeating Paulus Ambunda for the belt.
Earlier today middle child Daiki Kameda (29-3, 18) joined his brothers by claiming the IBF Super Flyweight title, in the process not only becoming the third brother to currently hold a title but also just the third Japanese fighter to claim an IBF world title following Satoshi Shingaki and Katsunari Takayama.
Daiki, facing off against the dangerous and talented Mexican Rodrigo Guerrero (19-5-1, 12) was seen as a small betting favourite, though with many fans he was actually seen as the under-dog.
The fight, with a lot riding on it, started poorly with the first 3 or 4 rounds really having very little clean action. Daiki used his feet and was very negative trying to force Guerrero to create the fight whilst trying to pick him off with single straight right hands. On the whole this was effective for Daiki in the early rounds though certainly not exciting.
Whilst the fight certainly lacked action in the opening stages Daiki did show off some very impressive movement, the sort of movement that would frustrate anyone and the sort of movement that prevented Guerrero from really establishing his pressure. Guerrero brought the heat, but it was often ineffective.
Although Daiki did make a good start he was under heavy fire for the first time in round 5. It was in this round that he was forced to really fight back for the first time and unfortunately for him he was deducted a point for a low in the final minute of the round. It's fair to say that the point deduction could have been the only mark against through 5 rounds on the judges scorecards due to how ineffective Guerrero's pressure had been.
It wasn't until the sixth round that Guerrero really tried to force a body attack and tried to take away the movement of Daiki. By this point it was obvious that Japanese fighter was simply a step ahead of his flatter footed opponent. The body attack of Guerrero did bring him some success though a late flurry by Daiki may have stolen him the round on at least one of the judges scorecards.
If the sixth saw Guerrero having some success in terms of connects then the seventh saw him having success in terms of his pressure forcing Daiki to work. Fortunately for Daiki his work did enough to keep Guerrero from landing much of note himself, though it was appearing that Guerrero had planned to come on strong in the second half of the fight.
After having two solid rounds Guerrero's first really strong round was the eighth, a round in which his pressure really began to pay off as he hammered Daiki upstairs and downstairs. It was beginning to look like the waiting game of the Mexican was paying off as he cut the distance and effectively took away the movement of the Japanese fighter. This success bred more success and Guerrero would further put the hurting on Daiki in the following round as the bout appeared to swing in the direction of the Mexican.
With bout slowly turning against him Daiki most have known he was in need of something special. He managed to find that something special in round 10, the fight's clear highlight. Again Guerrero brought the pressure and for a good chunk of the round seemed the boss until Daiki let loose with a long, sustained assault that had Guerrero covering up and going backwards. For the first time in the bout Kameda seemed to realise that he had the ability to hurt Guerrero when he let his hands go in a combination, and although Guerrero did come back in to the round late the attack of Daiki certainly stole the round.
The eleventh round saw Daiki deducted a second point, though even with the deduction it appeared he did more than enough to earn at least a share of the round as Guerrero started to look like a fighter who had given his all and was resigned to defeat failing to do enough in the final round to really make a clear cut case for that either.
Although the deductions in rounds 5 and 11 made the scores cards interesting, it appears they had no real bearing on the bout with scores of 114-112, 116-110 and 117-109 being registered by the judges, all in favour of Daiki.
With a WBA, a WBO and IBF champion in the family it would seem like the Kameda's are the boxing family of the moment. With their names firmly stamped in the record books we may well get the trio wanting to set more records, such as becoming the first trio to defend titles on the same show, or something similar. For now however they will celebrate a successful and memorable summer.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.